back to article Hey Commentard! - or is that Commenter?

Last month a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain about the use of the word "freetard", on the grounds that, as an analogue of "retard", the word was derogatory to people with mental handicaps. Americans may have a little difficulty in understanding the substance of this complaint, in the way that most …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other considerations aside

    Things just ain't funny when repeated too often (I guess we all know someone who repeats Python sketches verbatim?)

    Maybe the Reg can install a 'sell-by-date' plugin in its CMS and/or comments system. Wilful use of some of the riper cliches will incur a financial or physical penalty.

    Fanboi

    Commentard, freetard, or any other -tad

    Etc

    More, newer, cliches please!

    1. Ian Yates
      Coat

      Re: Other considerations aside

      "I guess we all know someone who repeats Python sketches verbatim?"

      I don't.... oh, wait, it's me, isn't it?

      (Ah, thanks. Yes, the one with the ex-parrot in the pocket, ta.)

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: Other considerations aside

      "I guess we all know someone who repeats Python sketches verbatim?"

      I think you mean spam

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
      Coat

      Fanboi (was: Re: Other considerations aside)

      I rather like the term "fanbuoy" myself. Not least because I first came up with it... but it conveys much more, in terms of meaning, don't you think?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fanboi (was: Re: Other considerations aside)

        Can be extended to 'fanbouyancy', I suppose.

  2. sabroni Silver badge

    as a technical challenge

    see if you can make a web form that submits votes without needing javascript....

    1. Aaron Em
      Facepalm

      Re: as a technical challenge

      1996 called -- they want their state of the art back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: as a technical challenge

        They did?

        Did you warn them about Haiti, the Japanese tsunami and the twin towers?

        No?

        Bastard.

        with apologies to XKCD (http://xkcd.com/875/)

        1. Joefish
          Joke

          Re: Re: Re: as a technical challenge

          Sorry, there was only just time to tell them to skip Vista and go for the next one before we got cut off.

        2. Neil Greatorex
          Unhappy

          Re: Re: Re: as a technical challenge

          Please stop posting links to xkcd comics, they're generally neither funny, relevant nor well drawn.

          PS They're also not "obligatory"

          1. amanfromearth

            xkcd !

            If you don't think they are funny, then, er well you should

            The period one

            Homeopathy

            The computer one

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Re: Re: as a technical challenge

            You should stop posting. xkcd isn't just a comic - frequently the commonalities expressed through said comic are quite apt.

            1. Aaron Em

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as a technical challenge

              Indeed! Today's XKCD, for example, is a particularly fine example of subtlety on the part of Mr. Monroe -- I mean, you can totally enjoy the comic without it, but ordinary people would never spot that those are actually least terns, and that Stickman Beret is going to be looking at some pretty stiff fines for interfering with the protected nesting areas of an endangered seabird.

            2. Neil Greatorex

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as a technical challenge

              As is Dennis the Menace I suspect, to an 8 year old.

              1. hplasm Silver badge
                FAIL

                Ah, I see- you dont Understand....

                Just say you don't get it then. No shame in that.

                Or are you just being Victor Mature?

          3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

            @ Neil Greatorex

            I believe you missed either or all notices on xkcd pages:

            "Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors)."

            And contrarily to what you think, XKCD strips _are_ indeed quite masterfully drawn, in a form-meets-function way. Drop you prejudice and browse the XKCD archives, you may be surprised.

            PS they are also most obligatory. No quotes.

            1. Neil Greatorex
              FAIL

              Re: @ Neil Greatorex

              I didn't miss them, and as I posted earlier, Dennis the Menace is a masterclass in humour - for an 8 year old.

              If you want to define yourself via the medium of a crappy web comic, so be it. Your choice.

              As to "obligatory", so is dog shite to your average hiker.

    2. Audrey S. Thackeray

      Re: as a technical challenge

      I don't trust the Reg enough to let it run scripts on my machines either.

      Tinfoilhattardery it may be but that's how it is.

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: Re: as a technical challenge

        "I don't trust the Reg enough to let it run scripts on my machines either."

        OK, but why expect the Reg to solve a problem for you that you've created for yourself?

        1. Audrey S. Thackeray

          Not running Reg scripts.

          @Aaron Em

          OK, but why expect the Reg to solve a problem for you that you've created for yourself?

          I didn't ask them to.

          I don't see it as a problem.

          -

          @Drewc

          But let me guess, you want 110% of everything we have to offer, for free...

          Not as much of it as that but you are right, in the end I probably wouldn't pay for any of it.

          I'd imagine this is one of the great frustrations of trying to make a living on the internet and I sympathise, but not to the extent that I'd change how I behave. Sorry.

          I promise I'll give any ideas you come up with for funding the site real consideration - I might go for a (very) cheap subscription to an ad-free Register for example.

      2. Drewc Gold badge

        I don't trust thereg enough to run their js code" ..

        But let me guess, you want 110% of everything we have to offer,  for free...

        Yes, tin-foil hat madness and no mistake about that.

        1. Vic

          Re: I don't trust thereg enough to run their js code" ..

          > you want 110% of everything we have to offer, for free...

          Yes. And a cherry.

          Vic.

    3. Drewc Gold badge

      ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

      Sabroni, You are being quite the troll.

      We could support a "poll" system that didn't require javascript, for more work and a crappier UI, to please a tiny fraction of our readership.

      Get Twitter and Google Docs to turn off js and we may have a re-think...

      1. Windrose
        WTF?

        Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

        "We could support a "poll" system that didn't require javascript, for more work and a crappier UI"

        Yeah. Or not. People have created "poll" systems before which didn't require JS, didn't take more work (honestly? You've never actually WRITTEN JS, have you?), and had nicer UIs.

        Don't take your incompetence out on others. It's embarassing.

        1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

          You are quite right that I haven't written JS.

          But I employ highly competent people who do - and I am happy to shield them from rude people like you.

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Re: Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

            Using javascript to submit a form is over-engineering. It's not a big deal, it was just a flippant comment based on being presented with a big black square where a form was supposed to be.

            The number of people on this site who use noscript is surely greater than on most sites, why aren't they considered when you specify a voting form?

            Do highly competent web programmers use javascript when html will do the job just a well? Why?

            Yeah, I'm trolling, maybe you shouldn't all have bitten in the first place?

            1. Sean Timarco Baggaley
              FAIL

              Re: Re: Re: Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

              "The number of people on this site who use noscript is surely greater than on most sites, why aren't they considered when you specify a voting form?"

              Why would The Register give a toss what people who have deliberately disabled the advertising that pays their damned wages think? You're getting content for free. Until you start paying for it, you don't get a vote. Ever.

              1. sabroni Silver badge

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

                @Sean Timarco Baggaley, 24th feb 17:23

                Noscript doesn't stop the adverts on the register, just stops them dancing. They are still clickable! I guess that shows that you can achieve useful stuff without Javascript....

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: ~2000 votes so far cannot be wrong, can they... can they?

        > We could support a "poll" system that didn't require javascript, for more work and a crappier UI, to please a tiny fraction of our readership.

        Well, that hypothetical version might cope better with multiple votes, if you see what I mean (and I think you do). I won't abuse it, as it's against my principles and the poll is not an exercise in democracy anyway, but there is a serious hole in the voting system.

        > Get Twitter and Google Docs to turn off js and we may have a re-think...

        If I may, I don't think that is a valid argument for some of the core ElReg audience (me included). However tiny it might be in terms of revenue...

        That said, your website, your rules.

    4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: as a technical challenge

      Oh don't be silly. If even I, Grand Advocate of Text Browsing, Head Slayer of Anything Unnecessarily Fancy and Great Knight of the Hollier than Thou Order, can make an exception and let that one implementation of The Infamous JS Monster get through, so can you.

      Here, have a cold one to soothe your anguish.

  3. Goldmember
    Facepalm

    "a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain"

    Just about sums up the userbase of Twatter, does it not?

    Lighten up, commentards.

    Sincerely,

    Unoffended UK user.

    1. bonkers
      Happy

      Re: "a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain"

      Could we respectfully adopt the use of "twitbook" account, when referring to either twitter or facebook?

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Re: "a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain"

        I like "Fatter+" as a generic term for social media sites - derived from Facebook, Twitter & Google+

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: Re: "a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain"

        Nope, Twatter is about right. You can be respectful to the Twats if you want, but you'll be in a minority around here. Also, in this context, "Twitbook" wouldn't work as it wouldn't identify which it was.

        1. bonkers
          Happy

          Re: Re: Re: "a Reg reader contacted us via our Twitter account to complain"

          That's my point - I don't care, nor even understand, which is which.

          "Twitbook share auction raises $400million" - sure you can read the article and work out which of the two applies, but would it really matter?

  4. Leo Maxwell
    Coat

    offensive, no

    Just rather childish, and really quite sad.

    I don't find "Freetard" offensive, but I do find it irritating, and would rather it was shown the door.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      Re: offensive, no

      "I don't find "Freetard" offensive, but I do find it irritating..."

      How about 'Freeskate'?

      Or, of course, we could just go back to using "miser".

    2. NomNomNom

      Re: offensive, no

      I once kicked a retard in the face and I can assure you it's no laughing matter

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @NomNomNom

        I can only assume that you are very flexible to have managed that. Do you work in a circus?

  5. Owen Carter
    Go

    Go for it!

    Freetard? Moi? ... grins.

    Actually, I really like it. More than once I've thought of having it on a t-Shirt.

    But I think for the sake of fairness the principle could be expanded, 'Paytard' is a good start but round there there is also room for 'Articletards', 'Reviewtards', 'Apptards', 'SEOtards', lots of variants on 'Mototards, Googtards, RIMtard (oh-err), and 'GrannySmithtards'.

    And finally, dare I say it and get banned, 'Moderatards'?

    1. Goldmember
      Thumb Up

      Re: Go for it!

      Don't for get 'pedantard'.

      By the way Drew, you missed a comma in the title of the story.

      Just saying.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Go for it!

        And Operatard, Mozillatard...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

          And tard-tard?

          1. Owen Carter

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

            One of the all-time classic errors from PHP:

            Warning "array_merge_recursive(): recursion detected"

            That made me say something similar to 'tard-tard-tard'..

            1. Neil Greatorex

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

              Or the classic NT error message:

              Insufficient space to delete files, try deleting files to make space, Delete one or more files to free disk space, and then try again*

              *or something like that, memory fails....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: Go for it!

        Do you not mean 'forget', not 'for get' ?

        - a fellow pedantard.

        1. Goldmember
          Thumb Up

          Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

          Touché, sir! Perhaps we should add 'typotard' to the list as well.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

            Hoistwithhisownpetard

            1. Chrome

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Go for it!

              Thanks guys, now I keep thinking a leotard is someone fanatical about lions

    2. Chris Leeson

      Re: Go for it!

      "And finally, dare I say it and get banned, 'Moderatards'?"

      In one case it used to be Moderatrix... I miss the old days...

      For the FOTW competitors, how about Cuss-tard?

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Go for it!

      I distinctly remember 'AppleTard' being used at some point. Or was that just Webster Phreaky?

  6. benjymous

    deja vu

    That story gives me a weird sense of deja vu for some reason.

    That story gives me a weird sense of deja vu for some reason.

    That story gives me a weird sense of deja vu.

  7. horse of a different colour
    Flame

    Can we henceforth refer to El Reg contributors as regtards?

  8. Dotter
    Thumb Up

    Commentard

    I like commentard - it's something that sets El Reg apart from other websites.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Commentard

      Yes it's part of the culture, the same with 'boffin'.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: Re: Commentard

        Well "boffin" is a fairly old English term for scientist. Think of it as the English equivalent to the USA's "egg-head".

        1. gribbler

          Re: Re: Re: Commentard

          You must stick with commentard. As an expat, one of the reasons I come back to el reg on a daily basis is to get my dose of snarky, mildly-offensive British-English. The day you start to treat us lazy punters and commentards politely is the day I start worrying what you're plotting....

        2. Neil Greatorex
          Happy

          Re: Re: Re: Commentard

          I'm with you on this one:

          noun

          informal, chiefly British

          a person engaged in scientific or technical research:

          a computer boffin

          a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex, arcane, and difficult:

          he had a reputation as a tax boffin, a learned lawyer

          [Oxford Dictionary]

  9. mr.K
    Coat

    Tar

    First of all I would think that it was derogatory to us commentards and not people with mental handicaps. Anyhow, I have always preferred to regard it only as tard like in tar. So something that is thick, slows down movement, sticky and hard to work with it.

    Second, when will people get it through their thick skulls that words only carry the meaning the sender puts into it, and that it is exceptionally rude of the receiver not to try to interpret that.

    1. TRT Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Tar

      Is it fair, though, that all commentators be tard with the same brush?

      1. mr.K

        Re: Re: Tar

        Yes, and I plan to show that by proving it for each and every one of us. I will start with myself and I want to support my case by submitting all posts I have made so far and all future posts as evidence.

  10. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Megaphone

    What's the point of this?

    Mobe has been used several times since it was banned so why assume anything different will happen here?

    For the record, I like freetard and despise mobe.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: What's the point of this?

      I thought it was lappy that got banned, and mobe was allowed to remain.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: What's the point of this?

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/09/09/mobe_poll_result/

  11. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Megaphone

    What's the point of this? (Director's Cut)

    Mobe has been used several times since it was banned so why assume anything different will happen here?

    For the record, I like freetard and commentard but despise mobe.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the point of this? (Director's Cut)

      Don't like this comment ... could you do another with a voice over at the end?

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Re: What's the point of this? (Director's Cut)

        Actually I think it needs some CGI.

        1. Audrey S. Thackeray

          I don't understand

          Is Captain Hogwash a robot or not?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am a commentard.

    I like that word to describe us, it somehow evokes the concept that what we say here is often drivel or dumb or rant, and to get a high count of upvotes you have to rise above being a common commentard and write something exceptional / spot on / or something that every commentard relates to.

    As for the accusation of commentard being a disability slur, I have Aspergers and the word commentard doesn't offend me in the slightest, what does offend me is that there's not nearly enough Autism related jokes out there, it's like we're being discriminated against by comedians.

    Posting anon, because I can.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am a commentard.

      Have you not see the "Ass-Burgers" episode of South Park then?

      1. Haku

        @AC 15:12

        Yes, I love that show and it was an epic episode.

        Even moreso when I saw the making of which showed how they go from idea to broadcast in just 6 days.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: I am a commentard.

        Or pretty much the whole of 4Chan, EncyclopediaDramatica and UrbanDictionary..

    2. Mike Moyle Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I am a commentard.

      "(W)hat does offend me is that there's not nearly enough Autism related jokes out there..."

      Well... there are, but you just aren't getting them...

      (Thank you folks; you've been a lovely audience! We'll be here all week.!)

      --------------------

      As to the original article -- "Give me 'Commentard' or give me death!" (Or, for the more current take: "They can have my 'Commentard' when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers!"). It has always reminded me of the French "Communards" -- another group full of sound and fury, accomplishing... pretty much nothing.

      ...So it has precedent and ironic aptness, if nothing else.

      1. Haku

        Re: Re: I am a commentard.

        At least The Onion don't discriminate, nobody is safe from them: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tInDH2FeXaM">Autistic reporter</a>

        1. Haku

          hey what?

          who do I have to bribe to get links working in my posts?

          1. Drewc Gold badge

            No bribes required

            Go here ... and ask nicely.

    3. Lockwood
      Joke

      Re: I am a commentard.

      @AC 15:08

      If you were to stand outside McDonalds and count all the pieces of rubbish strewn around the street outside, you're probably autistic.

  13. Graham Bartlett
    Happy

    Could be worse

    Commenturd...

    Although it's a shame for people born between 23rd July and 22nd August, who become Leotards. With the majority of Reg readers being male and over 30, we're not well suited to stretchy lycra.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Could be worse

      Yeah, you can't extend that logic to the rest of the zoditards, though. I mean, cancertard? Could easily be misinterpreted.

      Heh heh heh. *chuckles* Tardis.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge
      Mushroom

      OI!

      I resemble that remark.

  14. Locky Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Choice?

    What's all this with giving people a choice of words, this is, after all, a democrocy. Based on the "one man, one vote" system, you just arn't the man with the vote.

    1. IglooDude

      Re: Choice?

      Discussing democracy and practicing it are two entirely separate things - just ask ____ (this blank to be filled in as an exercise for the reader/commentard)

  15. Owen Carter
    Coat

    And one for our esteemed Mr O.

    I've been trying to come up with a pithy -tard for El Regs star contributor, but cant really do better than Übertard.. And that is somehow too.. Germanic. Anyone got a better suggestion?

    - It'll take more than a coat to hide from his wrath but what the hell..

  16. Jedit
    Big Brother

    Enough of this democracy rubbish

    I want to be Commentrade Jedit! In El Soviet Registar, articles comment on YOU!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Don't forget journotards

    I like commentard, I also like the converse of it.....journotard

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget journotards

      I prefer "repotard". The word just makes me laugh. Yeah, I'm know, I'm commentarded.

  18. David Webb

    I thought everyone knew why "Jap" was offensive (if it's used in the Sun to describe a people, it's offensive - fact!). Probably more so in the US simply because of the WW2 propaganda calling the Japanese, Japs as an offensive derogatory term, so it's also offensive in Japan so really shouldn't be used.

    However, I'm a commentard, and my brother calls me a fucktard, the Doctor flies around in a tardis and probably eats his beef with mustard, all is well in the world.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Jap

      Since we seem to be appreciating that Jap is an offensive word, because that's the purpose for which it was originally formed, might I suggest that as El Reg should adopt a different epithet.

      And please, as the site has a distinctly British tone, can it be Nip. As in the old joke about kamikaze pilots...

      1. Vic

        Re: Jap

        > Jap is an offensive word, because that's the purpose for which it was originally formed

        Oh, I don't know.

        It was a pretty popular engine before it was commonly used as a racial slur...

        Vic.

        1. Return To Sender
          Thumb Up

          Re: Re: Jap

          @Vic

          Neatly combining work & play there - although I don't currently have any classic machinery powered by the products of J A Prestwich...

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Stop

      @David Webb

      "... probably eats his beef with mustard ...". What sort of bizarre alternate universe do you think the Doctor inhabits? It is *ham* that goes with mustard - beef goes with *horseradish sauce*.

      I'm happy to accept cybermen, Daleks and all the rest, but this sort of culinary horror requires too much suspension of disbelief.

  19. Alan Bourke

    I have not voted.

    There is no option there for 'commenterino'.

    1. Richard 120

      Re: I have not voted.

      Aha, your pseudonym is revealed, Ned Flanders.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Commenterino

      Didn't you post this tomorrow?

  20. jungle_jim
    FAIL

    really?

    At what point did a Reg reader take them seriously enough to be offended by this?

    perhaps they should try the daily mail comments section?

    Failtard

  21. Velv Silver badge
    Stop

    Next you'll be telling us we can use the term "Fanbois"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who actually cares?

    Who give a frig what others think of them? Especially the El Regtards!

    OOOO, some absoulte no-one is calling me names Boo Hoo.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freetard and Commentard are very appropriate

    All kidding aside aren't those who believe eveything should be free - for their taking, really delusional and retarded mentally in the true sense of the word? They should be offended because they are completely ignorant.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Freetard and Commentard are very appropriate

      Aha! Trolltard!

  24. lansalot
    Unhappy

    ha!

    As usual...

    "Yours, offended on someone else's behalf".

    *sigh*....

    1. SoaG

      Re: ha!

      Here in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Canuckistan you'll have your life destroyed if the 'someone else' is a 'designated group', and the 'offended' complains to the appropriate local/national government agencies.

  25. tony72

    Jimmy Somerville

    This raises a highly important question; Commentard is to commenter, as Communard is to ....? Was "Communard" offensive to someone (other than musically, I mean)?

  26. Grikath

    Ith Thradhithion, Marther!!!!

  27. Rob
    Stop

    Never really thought of it like that...

    ... I think my brain went down the route of thinking the whole 'tard' part was a bastardisation of 'turd' which fitted well in my head when referring to freetards etc.

    I've never been very good at this politically correct stuff, got better things to do than pick through a minefield of words in case someone runs home crying.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Really?

    It's not just the Americans who don't understand the fuss, I don't, and I'm 75% English, 25% Welsh and born just outside London.

    Then again, if anyone does something stupid I still called them a Joey or Spethal.

    The only PC I recognise has a motherboard.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only PC I recognise has a motherboard.

      Yes we don't get enough bobbies on the beat around here either.

  29. Spoddyhalfwit

    Retard is offensive?

    First I heard about it.

    So I'll have to go back to calling the mentally handicapped "windows lickers"? Its political correctness gone mad.

  30. Robert G Ward
    Coat

    in the 'tard' scheme of things, does this make someone who swears a lot a 'custard'?

    i'll get my coat - mine is the one with the can of ambrosia :)

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      Optional

      No, a custard is a customer or client who is... none too bright. One who asks for advice, then ignores it, then comes back to you to solve the problems they have as a result of ignoring your advice.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Political correctness.

    I would drop the use of freetards and commentards if retards allowed us to call them retardtards, that is "somebody who is retarded enough to be retarded".

  32. beardman
    WTF?

    3rd option?

    OK now, where is the 3rd option called "Whatever..."?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: 3rd option?

      In with the other cheerleader stuff? Have you tried the pompom locker?

  33. bhtooefr
    Trollface

    Sometimes retard is considered offensive in the US, too

    There are some circles here in the US where retard is considered a massively offensive word, too.

    What's really fun is, I've encountered some of those people on a technically oriented diesel car forum.

    Talking about injection timing can be dangerous if you're not careful...

    Oh, and I voted for commentard.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leave 'em alone

    They're made up words and mostly confined to this site - I never saw the 'tard' connection to 'retard'. Yes I thought it was insulting, but not in that way. If you must - have a poll of all registered 'tards, and add a word to the banned list if it gets, say, >60% of the vote. I'll abide by that. But I do like to use 'spooks' for the security services, though.

  35. Chris 3
    Headmaster

    Commentard is OK, Freetard not so much

    We're all commentards, its use is a self-deprectory bit of fun aimed at people who comment here. Freetard is a rather snide label for a group of people who, either provide valuable software for free, or have a disagreement with current copyright law. Commentard is affectionate. Freetard is mud-slinging.

    1. Richard 120
      Happy

      Re: Commentard is OK, Freetard not so much

      Why do you think that?

      Freetard and Paytard are antonyms and are used by el Reg fairly regularly, if they are snide labels then at least el Reg is slinging mud in all directions, what you might call balanced journalism.

      If all are treated equally in such a way then how can it be derogatory?

      Biting the hand that feeds IT and all that.

    2. mr.K
      Coat

      Re: Commentard is OK, Freetard not so much

      Mud-slinging is why I come here.

      Seriously though, it kind of is. I take open argument based bias over bias hidden as objectivity any day. Take the copyright debate, other media outlets tend to either refer to the freetards as criminals or more like digital freedom fighters. If not themselves the angle on their coverage tend to lean one way or the other, and all under the disguise of being objective and balanced. I much rather prefer El Reg's coverage where they say what everybody knows that the vast majority of people downloading stuff do it because it is convenient and that they do not want to pay. There is no large political agenda and they are not part of a vast criminal syndicate. And after summing all that up nicely in a single word with fuzzy meaning, the vultures move on to debate the actual issues around copyright with actual arguments.

      Btw, since when did vultures care about what people think? It is not like something that waits for the prey to die before engaging is all that into playing fair.

  36. nigel 15
    Pirate

    for the record JAP is offensive here too.

    the article seems to take as give that the word 'jap' is not offensive in British English. I assure you it is. there are experiments you can do to verify this.

    which begs the question what you are supposed to the hole in the end of your johnson.

    as for commentard: freetard is ok provided you mean the value judgement it implies, it's not offensive to anyone with learning difficulties unless, of course, they also download warez. if you are comfortable with the value judgement implied by commentard then continue to use it, but it's always annoyed me.

  37. Pete 2

    Push back the limits

    Anything that stands against the tutting, intolerant and politically correct must be a good thing.

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Push back the limits

      I agree! Down with Handwringing Tuttards!

  38. Keep Refrigerated
    Thumb Up

    I like the terms...

    "freetard", "Commentard", "fandroid", "fanboi", "boffin", "haktivists", "Chocolate Factory", "fondleslab", "moderatrix", "lackey", "Web2.0gasm", "Motion Picture Ass. of America", "Jobsian", "web2.0rhea", etc... I'd like to see more.

    If anything, El Reg is far too restrained, as I'm sure regular readers of Private Eye will agree.

  39. Fading Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Offended? Really?

    Given as when you read the "voice" is normally in your own head surely you are only offending yourself. As such anyone that reads something they find offensive only have themselves to blame and therefore should stop reading immediately. Ever. Including this.

  40. b166er

    Considering retard means to delay or slow (something) down, it doesn't particularly make sense in this local parlance.

    Articulatards

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    never be a commentator

    Since when did a plain old comment get itself aggrandised as a commentate ?

  42. Windrose
    Meh

    Whats wrong with "Peanut"?

    As in "Peanut gallery".

    Most people - perhaps all - who comment on anything online are nuts anyway.

  43. ravenviz
    Headmaster

    You choose it yourself

    It could go in the user profile to have a Forum spellcheck that automatically changes words to your favoured sensibility.

  44. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Analogous to Andrew O.'s use of "freetard", "commentard" could reserved for those intellectually challenged who frequent the forums to vent their spleen by engaging keyboard before brain. Much in the spirit of the Far Side cartoon "Midvale School for the Gifted". I think shifting from "er" to "ar" is a bit shit. "commenturd" would keep the pronunciation, irony and add some toilet humour. But for normal dudes "commenter" should suffice.

  45. MrHorizontal
    WTF?

    WTF!

    El Reg is an institution, and we love the fact that Apple amongst many other over sensitive PR departments take umbrage.

    Heck, I wouldn't be offended if reg called me a f**ktard for commenting.

    Perhaps El Reg should start selling Polyfilla to fill those chips on shoulders?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Having a son with severe mental disabilities I hate the use of anything-tard, but I understand that in this instance it is not meant as an insult.

    However, I do reserve the right to consider anyone that uses it as a sad Muppet and a total and utter idiot lacking in self esteem who supports their desperate need to fit by using all the latest cool words.

    So you have been told.

    Of course if the term was withdrawn it would become more popular.

  47. Robert Moore
    Thumb Up

    I have always said that people who get offended by such things need to be offended more often!

    Perhaps they will grow a thicker skin.

    Canadian commentard/freetard, and damn proud of it!

  48. Jamie Kitson

    Favtard

    My favourite is still mactard. Perhaps what they will call custard at McDonald's.

  49. SoaG

    No such thing as a bad word

    Censorship, even self-imposed, is always a bad thing.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

    Only if you're a fucking idiot, surely?

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

      Hmm. In the UK, "Jap" is a shortened version of "Japanese". And that's all it is. You don't have to be an idiot, fucking, or otherwise to understand this.

      1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

        Re: Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

        Context, my friend, context.

        Of course, if one (not you) wishes to pretend that there is no such thing as context, and that there is no mood but the indicative, then nothing at all can be offensive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

      Ummm....I've googled, and checked wikipedia, but am still at a loss to work out how it means anything other than a shortened version of Japanese. It's no more offensive than using the word Brit to describe an English person shirley?

      1. peyton?

        Re: Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

        Just a guess, but "Jap" was probably popularized during WWII, a time at which it would only have been used in a negative context.

      2. frank ly

        Re: Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

        What I find amazing is that the Polish word 'polak' (meaning a male Polish person) is now used as a racial insult (but spelled 'polack') in the US against Poles in general. (As a matter of interest, a female Polish person is 'polka', in Polish).

      3. Anonymous Bosch

        Re: Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

        Jewish American Princess

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

        "I've googled, and checked wikipedia, but am still at a loss to work out how it means anything other than a shortened version of Japanese."

        Your Googling has not turned up Superman's "Slap a Jap" campaign, then I guess. Wikipedia is where information goes to die.

    3. mr.K
      Coat

      Re: "most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

      A fucking idiot is a procreating idiot.

      All right, all right, I'll go now. Mine is the slightly humorous one that everybody just find silly.

  51. Anonymous IV

    Tard and feathered

    The Urban Dictionary defines "tard" as "someone so retarded that they do not deserve the 're' prefix".

    And Couche-Tard is a large Canadian chain of convenience shops.

    Just thought you'd be interested!

  52. Brian Morrison
    FAIL

    Can't vote...

    ...because FF 10.0.2 plus NoScript just shows me an empty thin grey bar where the voting application is, and turning off script permissions shows me a black/grey vulture telling me to turn on scripting.

    So, it's buggered, and I might not bother voting via IE.

  53. Nixon

    "...in the way that most Brits find it hard to understand why "Jap" is a racial slur in the US."

    Wait, what!?

    Also it's worth keeping in mind that it's easy to not be offended when you aren't in the group that's potentially being marginalised.

  54. wilber

    Lipstick on a pig?

    I suspect that the complaintard, relating to freetard, might have been the half-term governor of Alaska, Fox News queen and reality TV star, Sarah Palin.

  55. Blue eyed boy

    It's not just retard

    nearly all words ending -ard are (or were once) derogatory tags [1], I would therefore like (and have voted for) the suffix to be dropped in favour of the more neutral -er.

    [1] Including niggard which has nothing to do with people of dark-skinned breeds.

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: It's not just retard

      I would hazard a guess that you are wrong. What about all those wizards and buzzards out there?

    2. Pete 2

      Re: It's not just retard

      > nearly all words ending -ard are (or were once) derogatory tags

      I'm sure the "bARD" would disagree. Surely you would rewARD his talent and have regARD for his hARD work. You wouldn't give him his cARDs. I think you've been hoist by your own petARD.

    3. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Niggard

      "Niggard" can get you into trouble in Canada.

      Mind you, the guy's harumphing over "faggot" shows that he likes to irk others with his obnoxious brand of pedantry.

      1. Aaron Em

        Re: Niggard

        It could get you in trouble here in the US, too, no fear -- we don't have the noun form in our lexicon, or at least I've never seen a writer in the States use it, but the adverbial form yet clings to life and every so often someone loses a job over that.

      2. frank ly
        Thumb Up

        Re: Niggard

        It's been a while since I bought a packet of Mr Brain's Faggots from the freezer section of my supermarket. I must go get some and gobble them down.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faggot_%28food%29

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Spaz

    It's quite shocking here in Canada that the word "spaz" and "spazzing out" is used in common language for someone that has gone a bit mental temporarily.

    I know when I was a kid at school, we used the word as a rather cruel derogatory word as an abbreviation to Spastic for anyone with a physical deformity and now is heavily frowned upon (quite rightly) as abusive and unacceptable.

    I do wonder how these things, having presumably the same original root, can take such different paths in terms of acceptance in different places.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spaz

      don't be such a Joey

  57. Michael Thibault
    Trollface

    "Chaps"?

    Is the poll exclusionary of those who don't self-identify as a "chap"? I must suppose not. Though El Reg makes no pretense of a democracy, or even of political-correctness, you're choice of "chaps" is old-boy-school i.e. it sniffs of patriarchy, or something similar. But I'm sure you knew that.

    Curiously, the use of the term "retard" has long since fallen into (relative) disuse. It resurfaces, periodically, in school-age children. And, while I haven't checked recently, the "mentally retarded" are no longer referred to as such--different term, same referent, though.

    Anyway, context is important, and El Reg has a culture of its own.

    My preference is that the term "freetard" be used to refer to those who are 'all about free things, including pirated media and warez, but also freeware, and give-aways in general', but that "fossil"* (as in "F/OSSil") be adopted and used to distinguish from the more general "free"-lovers that group obsessing on the 57 varieties of linux and *BSD as the answer to everything e.g "Fossils are 'special' people and warrant a term that is more specific to their condition".

    * I make this suggestion in full knowledge that the term "fossil", when used to refer to seniors, is mildly derogatory.

    1. Aaron Em
      Thumb Down

      Re: "Chaps"?

      "...or even of political-correctness, you're choice of "chaps" is old-boy-school..."

      'Scuse me, sir -- your fly's open.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Based on assumptions

    The fact is that 'tard' can only be offensive if it's automatically assumed to be a contraction of 'retard'.

    Any other explanation would have to hinge upon exactly how many letters of an offensive word were being reused.

    nts.

    1. Aaron Em

      Re: Based on assumptions

      I'm sure you're not about to argue that 'tard' is short for 'bastard' or some other such risible nonsense.

  59. Burch
    Mushroom

    Fairly certain you wouldn't approve what I'd like to call Andrew Orlowski.

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
      Joke

      Or you could...

      ... start referring to, say, Sony's lawyers as Orlowskis.

      sadly I can't, Orlowsky's the name of someone up the food chain here (and a personnal friend of my direct boss; a very nice guy, too). Perhaps Andy-Os? that has a nice ring to it.

      Let me try... "That guy on telly keeps saying that selling blank tapes will kill music. What an Andy-O!". Yes, it works!

  60. frank ly

    We're all special now

    The word 'retarded', used to indicate mental deficiency has been replaced by the word 'special', as I understand it.

    In view of this, can we be called 'specialists'? (Have I got the wrong end of the stick with this one?)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We're all special now

      I don't think that's correct....I've never heard my mechanic say that he had trouble specialing the ignition on my car.

    2. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: We're all special now

      Where does that leave Special Ops personnel?

      1. Vic

        Re: Re: We're all special now

        > Where does that leave Special Ops personnel?

        Very special indeed...

        Vic.

    3. Rande Knight

      Re: We're all special now

      Right up until the kids started calling each other 'Speshul' as a derogatory term.

      Last time I heard, it was "X-challenged", where X can be anything that a person may have trouble with. No doubt even that's a few years out of date.

      It's an arms race. Replace a term with a PC one and it will soon be used in a derogatory manner causing a new term to be generated.

      I'm not offended by shorteners. I don't like talking, so it makes my life just that little bit easier.

      For those people who are offended, why do you care about what that person says? Is your self esteem irredeemably harmed if less than 100% of people on this planet like you?

  61. ACx

    I dont care, its the selfish paytards that balls everything up.

  62. Mr Young
    Pint

    Retrotards?

    Some of my best laughs are from watching language develop and the internet is sure good for that! Anyway - is "fuckwit" an old fashioned word now?

    1. Michael Thibault
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Retrotards?

      "Fuckwit". It's old-fashioned enough to be new again! Use it, but not illiberally. If possible.

      < Get's it, but doesn't appreciate it.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James

    Glancing at the comments on the iPhone1 story linked, James was the one being described as a commentard, though time has demonstrated his comment actually was quite retarted.

  64. Anonymous Bosch
    Joke

    Commentard or Commenturd?

    Can we vote?

  65. Jon B
    Thumb Up

    Commentard is the future

    My missus was a bit offended at first when I called her blog commenters commentards, but now she's using the correct lingo to describe them.

  66. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    Made me re-enable JS

    Although for a very limited period of time.

    It's "commentard" and we won't have that "commenter" nonsense, no sir.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Groundlings

    Land of Shakespeare and all that....

    "the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumbshows and noise." Hamlet

    I think that perfectly sums us up.

    1. Local Group

      Re: Groundlings

      Later in that speech Hamlet says:

      "Now this overdone, or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve..."

      "Come tardy off." (Hamlet pops in between the election of commenter and commentard.) "O, I die, El Reg. But I do prophesy th' election lights on Commentard; it has my dying voice." [Dies]

  68. Mage Silver badge

    Commentard of course

    Commentators get paid.

  69. Esskay
    Thumb Up

    Commentard.

    As an Australian, and therefore someone who spends most of his time insulting his best friends, I personally don't mind the term commentard (or any other -ard) - but it still depends on context. Most "-ards" terms are used by authors as an almost endearing term - a way of converying the informal tone of the article, or poking light fun at an extremely broad group without any serious connotations attatched - one which the author doesn't hold any animosity towards, but is just lightly taking the piss out of.

    It's only the instances where the term is used in an attempt to deliberately belittle or provide weight to a personal opinion about a group of people that it becomes inappropriate, particularly where an author has an obvious and pervading dislike for the subject which permeates all of his writings (ie. Orlowski).

    I'd like to think that a site as technical as el reg doesn't need to belittle it's opponents with insults - that's what we're here for.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Commentard.

      I couldn't have put it better myself.

  70. John I'm only dancing

    Turdspurter

    From the verb - 'Turdspurt'

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Peon's of ping or Viri.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Comment$TARD

    There, fixed it.

  73. Random Handle
    Flame

    Stick with it

    It reflects the prevalent British attitude towards folk with intellectual/learning disabilities well.........and that's not me being snide or 'right-on' I really do mean it.

    While you're tweaking RegSpeak, I suggest you expand the theme:

    'Fanboi' could be replaced with 'Mac Mong', 'fandroids' could become 'Droid Deacons' and as 'troll' really lacks distinctiveness, 'spazz' might fit the bill.

    If you seriously think it doesn't matter, spend a few minutes on http://www.respond.org.uk/ or read Living in Fear from Mencap, bit old now but nothing has changed all that much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stick with it

      I'm totally with you on the "Mac Mong" front, but I think replacing troll with spazz is going a bit too far, we have to reserve some words for genuine disabilities.

  74. Killraven

    It's all about context.

    Just like swearing, it's not the word you use, it's how you use it.

    My objection to "freetard" is that every time I see it used by Andrew, there seems to be this unuttered insinuation of "those brain-damaged morons who think that way". It is never used "affectionately", it is always there to condemn and ridicule. To make less of those that don't think like he does. In fact, because it's derivative of "retard", it says that, mentally, there's something wrong with people that think that way.

    Yeah, maybe I read too much into it all. Perhaps just seeing it used that way a couple of times was fine, maybe even a bit humorous, but after a few dozen times, now it just pisses me off.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm, if this

    is the most pressing issue in peoples life, can i suggest a catch all title?

    "fucktards"...

    1. Drewc (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Pressing issues, only

      If we dealt with pressing issues only, cornz 1, life would be entirely depressing.

  76. Leo Maxwell
    Holmes

    (As a matter of interest, a female Polish person is 'polka', in Polish)

    Really changes the meaning of a chorus in an old song I heard recently.

    "Will she dance the polka"

  77. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
    Holmes

    The X-tard epithet is mild and relatively inoffensive

    However, using it as a derogatory term does nothing to strengthen ones argument. Something that some commentards, and occasionally certain El-Reg reporters would do well to remember.

  78. Winkypop Silver badge
    Happy

    I'm a proud commentard

    I've always been a commentard.

    It's just a laff, innit?

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about 'Commenturd'?

  80. Shocked Jock
    Headmaster

    @TRT

    Exactly - it's "commentator" as any fule kno.

  81. Daniel B.

    This has got to be a joke.

    Retard is as offensive in the US as it is in the UK. See the whole Tropic Thunder shitfest for their 'full retarded' joke. In fact, it was probably a US dude who complained.

    They're the ones pushing the 'don't called handicapped people handicapped!' thing, calling blacks 'african-americans', sticking 'happy holidays' instead of 'merry xmas', and other exaggerated sensitivities.

    I actually like El Reg's snarkiness, even if I don't quite agree with AO's particular views but damn if 'freetard' will be bannes just because of oversensitive people!

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just tell the f*cktard to p155 off!

  83. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    commentard or freetard

    Whatever, commentard or freetard it's all derogatory ...

  84. Arnon

    Respect is useful

    As a general rule, I think reasonably polite individuals should, upon hearing it clearly stated that their actions are upsetting other people, refrain from doing so unless it seriously impinges on their own freedoms or goals.

    Argument by analogy :

    I like loud music. My neighbor has a headache. I have a right to play my music loudly, but it causes my neighbor pain. So I, as a human being who respects other human beings and wishes to be treated similarly, turn down my music or put on headphones. My temporary inconvenience is less of an issue than my neighbour's pain.

    Anyways, My take is that words that hurt others un-necessarily should be kept for private conversation amongst friends who know the score, not tossed around loudly in public where bystanders might be upset by them. Which, I believe, is pretty british concept, no? Politeness, et al?

    Then again, I'm Canadian. :)

    Anyways : Commenter. Or Commentator. Or let's find a cooler neologism! Commentationist? Overtones of communism are ALWAYS fun!

  85. Colin Bain
    Meh

    Commentator

    I'm nor sure about commenter. I would prefer commentator. I'm a bit lazy to do the research, it feels about right, so it must be so.

  86. Local Group
    Devil

    Don't forget the fascistards

    There are a few around here. You know who I mean.

  87. TRT Silver badge

    OK, who has broken my favourite commentard dump?

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